According to Gartner, mobile users will have downloaded more than 102 billion apps in 2013, 91 % of which were free. The research firm estimates that the total number of app downloads will more than double over the next few years, reaching 268 billion by 2017.
At 102.062 billion, Gartner's projected estimate for the total number of apps downloaded in 2013 represents a 59.5 % increase from the previous year. Looking further into the future, the research firm expects that 138.809 billion apps will be downloaded in 2014, and 268.692 billion in 2017.
Free apps currently account for an overwhelming majority of total app downloads, and Gartner estimates that they will be increasingly dominant in the coming years. From 91 % in 2013, Gartner estimates that the percentage of downloaded apps that were free will rise to 94.5 % in 2017.
The research firm also noted that it expects in-app purchases (IAPs) to account for an increasingly large share of total revenues from apps. Goods and services purchased from within a mobile app represented 11 % of overall revenues from mobile apps in 2012, a figure that Gartner expects to reach 48 % in 2017.